- Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you decided to become a police officer.
I was a collegiate athlete, qualified for the 1980 and 1984 Olympic trials and played in the Canadian Football League. I spent four years as a teacher and realized law enforcement was the perfect way to continue giving back to the community, but in a different way. Good teachers and good police officers share many of the same traits: patience, understanding, compassion and a solid sense of humor, to name a few.
- You have had a long career with Delray PD. How did you work your way up to police chief?
I was hired by DBPD in 1992 and worked my way up steadily through the ranks. I supervised the Community Policing Unit, the Street-Level Narcotics Unit, the West Atlantic Avenue Task Force, the Community Response Division, the Criminal Investigations Division, the Support Services Division, the Community Patrol Division and, as assistant chief, the Special Services Bureau. I have a master’s degree in criminal justice and graduated from the FBI National Academy in June 2014.
- National Night Out is coming up this month. Tell us what the event is all about.
National Night out is about building relationships among police officers and the community we serve to make Delray Beach a safer place. Crime prevention and crime reduction is best achieved when residents and the police department work in unison. What better way to bring us all together than at a fun, family-friendly event with great food, music, games, demonstrations and bounce houses? National Night Out is actually a nationwide campaign that thousands of towns and cities take part in in all 50 states. DBPD takes strong community ties very seriously, so it’s an honor to host one of the area’s most well-attended National Night Out events. Like I always say, “One Delray. One community. One police department.”
- What are your top three priorities as police chief?
- Working collaboratively with our community to achieve legitimacy and maintain transparency
- Prioritizing and highlighting our workforce to accomplish our mission of ensuring public safety
- Staying true to departmental values of learning, excellence, accountability and diversity
- What safety tip or message is the department pushing out to residents the most right now?
- Don’t leave valuables, especially firearms in your vehicles
- Become engaged in your community and with your police department
- Be a good neighbor and report suspicious activity and persons